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Re: [APD] CO2 and Algae (B. T. Forsythe)

Algae will occur in higher light planted tanks if CO2 levels are not at roughly 30PPM's, if plants are lacking in traces or phosphate and nitrate. If any of these are missing in a higher light aquarium then the plants will begin to release ammonia which will "wake the algae already present in your aquarium from the spore (sleeping state) existence to the flagellate (awake state) existence and begin to attach to the plants. Other factors would be impeded water current or dead spots which do not allow the plant to receive those nutrients and CO2, I use a back to front flow across the entire aquarium spray bar at the top and then it hits the front glass, moves down to the substrate, moves across the substrate to the back and up again. Also any organic breakdown that releases even minute amounts of ammonia such as dead leaf debris that is floating or at bottom of aquarium needs to be removed promptly. Nitrate levels in higher planted aquariums need to be at roughly 10 -15 ppm's, phosphates at 1-1.5 ppm's, and traces need to be added according to the size of the aquarium. Water changes should be done weekly at 25-50 percent, 50 percent is better but not practical for some who own larger aquariums. Frequent every other day smaller water changes the first two weeks upon setup really helps. A good schedule for dosing can be found here; http://www.theplantedtank.co.uk/EI.htm it is dependent on 50% water changes. You will have to convert liters to gallons to realize the size of your aquarium. Lighting should run 8-10 hours first two weeks, then you can increase that to 12 if you wish. Seachem Purigen in the filter helps to remove ammonia and organics, I use that on every aquarium. Clean your filter in old aquarium water once every two weeks minimum! When disturbing the substrate to move or replant, it should be done just before a water change as you can pull up small amounts of ammonia from the substrate and therefore a water change will help to remove it. Also, feed your fish about half of what you think they need, most beginners feed too much and uneaten food decomposing at the bottom can cause ammonia problems as well. Regards, Don Matakis www.freshwateraquariumplants.com
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